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A Family Meetup May Be Your Marriage Game-Changer

Updated: May 14


Couple holding hands while drinking coffee

Have you ever been frustrated but not entirely sure why?

Have you ever blown up over the smallest thing and thought to yourself: “Whoa, where did all that come from?”

Isn’t it interesting that we can go days… weeks… even months with unprocessed thoughts and feelings?

They try to come up, and we push them down. Or perhaps, we are just too busy to face it all.


But here’s the kicker… it actually does find a way to surface. We can only bury unbridled thoughts and emotions for so long.

It leaks out in conversations. It leaks out in our work. It leaks out in our homes. It can even come out in physical abnormalities (cue, my latest eye twitch;) ...

Often times, it comes out in ways that we least expect.


A Friendly Reminder to Process What's in Your Heart


Without getting too much "in the weeds," I should add the notion that our life circumstances trigger different thoughts and feelings.

Life is complex. There’s an insane number of variables grabbing for our attention.

We are often pulled in a million different directions, leaving very little room to process anything.

This has been the truth for me, and it has certainly affected my marriage.


Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Bad attitudes ... miscommunication ... full schedules ... endless demands ... stress, exhaustion, sickness ... need I say more?

Can you see how all of this might trigger some negative emotions in you?


But what if we didn’t have to go days, weeks, or months with unprocessed thoughts and feelings? What if there was a simple practice that we could implement to allow those thoughts and feelings to serve us, instead of stuffing them down?


Here it Is

 

Now the practice I am going to share is nothing new.

Anne has been implementing it for quite some time, and there are several other versions I have heard of.

I am also going to be vulnerable here and say that I do not have this practice mastered.

The importance of it and value in it is undeniable to me. However, the hardest part is… (as you can probably guess) just taking the time to do it.


So here it is – In our household, it’s called: “The Family Meetup.”

And I’ll be honest… I wasn’t super stoked about the idea when my husband first brought it up. He had been inspired to implement this through his church men’s group, and I really wanted to get on board. But… I was skeptical.


We hardly even have the time and energy to talk about what we are making for supper… let alone, a family meeting? (If you saw the list of things to cover on his meetup guide, you would be skeptical too!)

However, I was totally unaware of just how impactful these meetups could be.


What Our First Meetup Looked Like

 

I remember our first meeting was in the Summer, and we decided to sit outside on our favorite swing and give-it-a-go.

Our two-year-old was in the background playing with his lawn toys, while Alex got out his folder and papers of all the topics we were supposed to cover.

I could feel my anxiety starting to rise (as I was thinking about all the other things I had to do that day), but Alex calmed me down and told me that we didn’t have to cover all of the topics in this meetup. Just as many as we could.


We proceeded to tackle the topics of:

-Christ at the center (spiritual well-being)

-Calendar (our schedules)

-Checkbook (our finances)

-Calling/career (what we feel called by God to do and how our careers fit with that)

-Conflict/challenges (what conflicts we have had and how we are handling life's challenges)

-Children (kids and parenting... um... loaded topic)


As you can imagine, it didn't take long for me to realize that I needed to grab a notebook to write down what we were discussing. I thought to myself, “This is SO helpful! Why haven’t we tried this sooner?!”


What began with anxiety turned into extreme gratitude that God had brought the concept of a family meetup into our lives.

Though we were not able to cover all of these topics in one sitting, we took a break and decided to finish the next day.

This family meeting marked a shift in our relationship and has caused a longing in my heart for more and more times like these with my husband.


Make This Your Own

 

So I’ll turn it over to you… What stressors could be resolved if you and your spouse took the time to have a family meeting? What systems could you implement together? What roadblocks could you tackle in your marriage?


And I should probably mention that not every meetup has to be a grand experience with outstanding results. Honestly, most of my meetups with Alex feel unfinished (because we either get interrupted, or we simply run out of time).


Anne's family meeting is much more simple than ours, and it has caused my husband and I to ponder ways that we can better tailor our meetups to fit our schedule. (Example: A short meetup once a week with 5 questions like Anne's (check it out here: 5 Questions My Husband and I Use for Our Family Meeting), and a longer meetup once a month, where we tackle more topics). It's allowed to evolve.


The point of what I'm saying is: Make this your own!

Do what works for your family and your schedules.


Final Thoughts


Here's the bottom line: Have the meetup. Schedule time for it. Make it a priority.

Then, watch how it impacts your marriage. Watch how it impacts your family.


Perhaps, many thoughts and feelings that have been buried under the surface will have a chance to break free.

Perhaps, you will be able to implement systems that you weren't even aware would help you.

Perhaps, you will be able to save yourself from unnecessary arguments by getting on the same page.

Perhaps, your life will become a little less stressful and a little more peaceful. (And Lord knows, we all need more of that!)

Perhaps, this is your game-changer.


You will never know until you try!


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